At a press conference today, Toyota has confirmed that it will purchasing the remaining portion of Daihatsu that it doesn’t already own.
If all goes to plan, the move will be approved by Daihatsu’s shareholders by the end of June, and the small car specialist will cease trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on July 26, with Toyota officially taking over on August 1.
Toyota plans on retaining the Daihatsu brand, with small car development being entrusted to Daihatsu, although neither side gave a clear answer as to which vehicles Daihatsu would develop beyond its current duties in the domestic kei car realm.
Daihatsu will also play a key role in Toyota’s emerging market strategy, with the former enjoying a large market share in places such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
Above: Daihatsu Copen. Top: Daihatsu Xenia.
In the question and answer session that followed the press conference, Masanori Mitsui, president of Daihatsu, told reporters: “In a nutshell the Daihatsu brand will of course continue, but it will not continue as is, we will evolve the brand. It may not be a very good example, but my feeling is the following, we will be like Mini for BMW … We want to grow Daihatsu into a global brand with that kind of added value.”
Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s CEO, mirrored that feeling, stating: “The Daihatsu brand will never ever disappear, let me assure you of that. Mini’s value to BMW, that’s the sort of level we should aim for [with Daihatsu].”